EDWARDSH at QUT.EDU.AU
Mon Oct 18 18:37:00 EST 1993
Phil et al
My research is looking at the content of the talk to older
people and the processes involved. I'm building on the
work of Giles, Coupland and colleagues which suggests that
the way in which we talk to older people about their age
and health status can reinforce negative stereotypes or
expectations of them. A self-fulfilling cycle is proposed
whereby the older person adopts behaviours consistent with
the stereotypes - hence the impact of the older persons
health and well-being. The process I'm looking at is
overaccommodation (from Communication Accommodation Theory)
or what is commonly referred to as the demeaning or
patronising talk to the elderly.
The basis of all this work is that caring or support is
basically a communicative act and the health and well-being
of older people is socially constructed by their
interactions with others. If these assumptions are
accepted then we need to know a lot more about talk to and
from older people. Is anyone working in a similar area?
Any comments from anybody?
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